The U. S. not only has the highest rate of imprisonment in the world (715 per 100,000 people), but more people in prison that any other country in the world (2,019,234). In fact, even though America only has 5% of the world's population, it has 25% of world's incarcerated population. Prison overcrowding is a continuing problem, and states are building more and more facilities to house inmates.
Also troubling is racial disparity in enforcement. More than 60% of the individuals in prison are people of color. In Washington, even though only 3.6% of the population is African-American, blacks make up 11.5% of all drug arrests. The primary means driving incarceration was, and is, the War on Drugs.
In 1970, there were less than 200,000 people in prison. In 1971, the federal government enacted the Controlled Substances Act which made possession, sale, and manufacture of all drugs a crime. The current prison population is more than ten times what it was in 1970.
This panel examines the devastating effect this has had on communities of color and explores some of the real reasons behind the exponential expansion of mass incarceration and as well as offers ways to put a stop to it. One excellent way is to help pass Initiative 502 to legalize the possession of marijuana for adults age 21 and older in Washington State.
Participants: SpearIt- assistant law professor at St. Louis University Pastor Carl Livingston- founder of Kingdom Christian Center Reverend Paul Benz- Co-Director of Faith Action Network Moderator- Michael Ramos, Executive Director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle Sponsored by the ACLU-WA, the Church Council of Greater Seattle, Faith Action Network, and the Latino Community Fund Video by Todd Boyle Watch Pirate Television in King County channel 29/77 Mondays 8-9pm, Thurs. 1-2pm, & Sat. 1-2am PST or streaming live on Seattle Community Media. Pirate TV streams several times a week on Puget Sound Access. Pirate TV also broadcasts on Free Speech TV: Details listed on FStv website
Pirate Television: Pirate TV challenges the Media Blockade, bringing you independent voices, information and programming unavailable on the Corporate Sponsor-Ship.For more programming from Ed Mays or information about this program, visit Seattle Community Media